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IMPORTANT INFORMATION » Our Monthly Newsletter ITA -

Palazzo Pitti

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Rent, Sell and Manage Properties in Florence and Tuscany
NEWSLETTER August 2012

Summer is the time for children and parks and we bring you Pinocchio in many different ways so you can eat in his “Field of Miracles” and play in his park and see the first portraits of the wooden puppet, who wanted to be a real boy.

Wishing you a Pinocchio-themed August from SUZANNE, CORSO, BEI, SANDRA, LORI, ANNA PIA, ANN and MARIO.



Dear Friends and Readers of the P&F Newsletter,

For the next two newsletters I wish to talk to you about CORRI LA VITA. First, so you “save the day” – September 30, 2012 – to walk and run with the 20,000 people who support this fabulous charity. Second, so you know how CORRI LA VITA has been honored by City of Florence recognition of the fine work that it has done. As you all know, I am very involved in this walk/run/race since its inception and it is very close to my heart and I want to share it with all of you.

This year on June 24, we were honored by the Mayor of Florence, Matteo Renzi, the Palazzo Vecchio in the Sala dei Cinquecento, for all of the good work that results from CORRI LA VITA. We were awarded the Fiorino D'Oro (The Gold Florin), which is the most prestigious award given by the city of Florence. This important award is presented once a year on John the Baptist's saint’s day. The Gold Florin is awarded to those people or societies that have given an outstanding contribution to the city.

CORRI LA VITA's goal is to make people aware of cancer, especially breast cancer. This year is our 10th anniversary and in recognition of this decade, the mayor has promised all the museums of Florence (state museums) will be free of charge for all CORRI LA VITA participants (wearing their T shirts of course). The CORRI LA VITA committee is also organizing a free concert in Piazza della Signoria as a closing event for the day. See the September Newsletter for details.

So my dear friends, especially those of you who have been to Florence and those who participated in CORRI LA VITA in the past and especially those who will walk or run with us this year, please help us to continue this wonderful work by sending a donation. Cheques should be made to “L.I.L.T. sezione Firenze” (which means La Lega Italiana per la Lotta conto i Tumori - cancer society - Florence section). I really hope you will see your way to writing a few zeros after the number! You may send your cheques to our office and we will see that they get to the right place.

Ciao, arrivederci, a presto!



This sunlit romantic hideaway at roof level on Via Maggio, the street of the best antique stores in Florence, is the perfect place for a couple who wants to shop in the markets and cook up scrumptious meals at home. An elevator takes you almost all the way to your door. The modern furnishings and minimalistic décor create a spacious feel. Just steps from the historic center, near some of the best restaurants in town make this the perfect place for la dolce vita.

For more information click this link.

BEST BEACHES (IN FLORENCE) FOR AUGUST – Sand Castle Competition on Ferragosto

Following the example of Paris, Florence has its own beaches along the Arno River. Naturally, bathing in the river is strictly forbidden, but for those of you who can’t get to the swimming pool or to seashore, this is a fun alternative.

First, there is La Spiaggina in the San Niccolò neighborhood where you can find umbrellas, sun loungers and other wooden gazebos. And if the heat is unbearable you can have a refreshing shower at the WC facilities. On the upper part of the beach there is the "Easy Living" kiosk for food and drinks.

On August 15, turn up at La Spiaggina for the annual sand castle competition.

In the San Frediano district, on one of the embankments of the Arno called "pescaia" there is another "beach resort" called Palco d'Autore. Umbrellas, sun loungers laid down a synthetic green field with a small swimming pool. There is also a restaurant, a lounge bar with concerts by Italian musicians.

EXHIBIT FOR AUGUST – Pinocchio in First Vision at the National Library

A free exhibition of the art of Pinocchio – the famous wooden puppet, who is celebrating the 131st anniversary of the first published edition of his exploits – is on show at the Biblioteca Nazionale (National Central Library) of Florence. This exhibit gives visitors an excuse to wander through the halls of the historically important library while becoming familiar with the characters of Collodi’s original story before Disney sweetened it.

At Pinocchio in Prima Visione (Pinocchio in First Vision) visitors can admire the fine drawings created by the famed illustrators of Pinocchio – Mazzanti, Magni, Chiostri, Mussino, Mannini, Bernardini, Futiqua and Cassinelli – shown alongside the related Italian editions preserved in the National Library.

The Galileo Room and the corridors in front of it, host the drawings dedicated to the two characters – the Cat and the Fox – from early editions of the Collodi’s book for children. In the Dante Room are 36 drawings of Attilio Mussino of the 1911 edition of the classic book.

Biblioteca Nazionale, Piazza dei Cavalleggeri, 1 off of Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia

Open: Mon. – Fri. 8:15am to 7pm and Sat. 8:15am to 1:30pm

BEST BOOK FOR EVERYONE FOR AUGUST – The Adventures of Pinocchio
(Le Avventure Di Pinocchio), Carlo Collodi (Author), Nicolas J. Perella (Translator)

Those who grew up loving Disney’s movie about the wooden puppet who wanted to be a real boy should beware that Collodi's version of Pinocchio is inspired by the commedia dell'arte, and it's a much a darker, complex, and socially relevant tale than the Disney adaptation; like many classic children’s tales, it is both lively adventure and adult social critique.

Nicolas J. Perella is Professor Emeritus of Italian at the University of California, Berkeley. Perella's translation and introductory essay capture the wit, irony, ambiguity, and social satire of the original nineteenth-century text, finally reclaiming Pinocchio for adult readers. It also represents the first time the entire story has appeared in English. This bilingual edition includes over 130 drawings by the original illustrator, Enrico Mazzanti.


"The real Pinocchio offers pleasures never hinted at by Disney. . . . A masterful blend of realism and fantasy."—William Grimes, Voice Literary Supplement

"Perella's opening Essay is no mere "introduction"; it is the fullest exposition of the novel ever to appear in English . . . enormously rewarding."—Richard Wunderlich, The Pinocchio Catalogue

"The best English translation."—Franco Fido, Harvard University

Carlo Collodi [pseudonym of Carlo Lorenzini] (1826-1890), Italian journalist and author wrote The Adventures of Pinocchio, first serialized in Il giornale per i bambini (The Children's Magazine) as Le avventure di Pinocchio (1881-1883). (Spoiler alert) Created by his poor woodcarver father Geppetto, Pinocchio is a mischievous boy whose nose grows if he tells a lie.

At times dark and comical, with allegory to the socio-political times in Italy, Jiminy Cricket and The Blue Fairy accompany him as he redeems himself to become a "real" boy whilst learning the moral of the story. After several months of the series' well-received publication, Pinocchio was left for dead hanging from the branch of an oak tree by two robbers. There was such an outpouring of grief and demand for a continuation that Collodi acquiesced.

The novel Pinocchio became a best-seller, the adventures of the now iconic puppet-boy appealing universally to children from all over North America, Europe, and numerous other countries. He inspired many adaptations to the big screen including Walt Disney and Roberto Begnini.

BEST PARK FOR AUGUST – Pinocchio Park In Collodi

Inaugurated in 1956, the Pinocchio Park is no ordinary theme park, but rather a work of art that visitors can walk through, climb on, and recall childhood stories. It's a rather old fashioned kind of park from the days when you didn't need bloodcurdling death-defying rides to charm the kids. The park tells Carlo Collodi's (the pen name of Carlo Lorenzini) version of the story of Pinocchio through sculpture, mosaics and puppet shows. It features a museum with Pinocchio related items.

The literary itinerary, marked out by mosaics, buildings and sculptures set amidst the greenery, emerges as an inspired combination of art and nature. The path is winding, and the dense vegetation means that every stage on the route comes as an unexpected surprise, with the very plants and trees contributing to create the atmosphere and the episodes in the story of the Adventures of Pinocchio. The Park itself is the site of constantly renewed cultural activities that are always mindful of its roots: exhibitions of art and illustrations inspired by children’s literature and the story of Pinocchio, puppet-making workshops, puppet and marionette shows and minstrels enliven the visit to the Park, depending on the season.

The Pinocchio Park could not have been set up anywhere else but in Collodi, where the ancient village has remained as it was hundreds of years ago, a cascade of houses that ends behind the 17th century Villa Garzoni and its fabulous garden (another stop you should add to your day in Collodi). It was in the village that Carlo Lorenzini’s mother was born, and here that he spent his childhood with his grandparents, the Orzali.

The original idea for Pinocchio Park came to the Mayor of Pescia in 1951. He invited leading artists to enter a competition. No less than eighty-four sculptors responded to the invitation: the joint winners were Emilio Greco with Pinocchio and the Fairy and Venturino Venturini with the Square of the Mosaics. In 1956 the famous bronze group that symbolically represents the metamorphosis of Pinocchio, and the extraordinary mosaics showing the principal episodes from the Adventures were unveiled. In 1963 a restaurant, Osteria del Gambero Rosso, was added. In 1972 the Park was enlarged by the addition of the Land of Toys, a fantastic itinerary that contains twenty-one sculptures in bronze and steel by Pietro Consagra and constructions by Marco Zanuso, evoking the plot of the Adventures of Pinocchio.

Collodi, located about midway between Montecatini Terme Spa (10 km), and Lucca (15 km), near Florence (60 km). Take highway 435 heading east from Lucca towards Florence to find Collodi.

PICK EATERY FOR AUGUST – AqAbA in Sesto Fiorentino

To continue the Pinocchio theme, go to Sesto Fiorentino and dine at AqAbA, the trendy restaurant that sits in the site of an ancient limonaia the garden of the historic 19th century Villa Gerini. The garden behind the restaurant is reportedly the site Collodi used for the “Field of Miracles.”

‘The Field of Miracles’ is one of the most famous settings described in The Adventures of Pinocchio. The Cat and the Fox led Pinocchio to this ‘miraculous’ field so that he could bury his gold coins there. The cheaters’ advice was clear: all Pinocchio had to do was sprinkle some salt over the spot and wait until the next morning. They convinced the naive puppet that a tree – with golden florins instead of fruit – would sprout up in less than a day’s time. In his book Pinocchio a Casa Sua, author Nicola Rilli suggests that Collodi was inspired by an urban legend about Francesco Zoppi, the Villa Gerini’s gardener at the end of the 1800s, who is said to have found two sacks of golden coins in the garden, which he promptly turned over to Count del Benino, the villa’s owner. Scathingly criticized by his contemporaries, Zoppi later denied his honesty, saying that he had not found any money at all.

Dine by candlelight (AqAbA is only open for dinner, not lunch) under the Tuscan sky with a view of the garden. The seafood dishes are the most popular (AqAbA takes its name from the seaport in Jordan), but the pizza also gets rave reviews. The service is fast and friendly. Indoors the decor is starkly modern. Some may find it bit pricey at about 40 euro per person depending on the wine selected (there is an excellent wine list). A pizza night will run considerably less.

AqAbA – Viale XX Settembre 221, Sesto Fiorentino; Tel. 055 442 1287; Open: 7:30pm to midnight

Website www.aqabasesto.it/eng/Home.html


Carabé is the passion of Antonio and Loredana Lisciandro. The couple are from Patti, on the northern coast of Sicily near Messina. Antonio has been described as a “walking encyclopedia of gelato.” Antonio’s grandfather was the first gelataio in the family. Antonio picked up not only Lisciandro family skills and secrets, but inherited their enthusiasm for making gelato and other ice cream treats.

Carabé presents a wide range of granita and gelato, and specialty items like cannoli, cassata, and brioche, the Sicilian version of the ice cream sandwich. Antonio and Loredana use no preservatives or artificial coloring, and only the finest pistachios, hazelnuts, almonds, and “bumpy” lemons imported weekly from Sicily. Fruit flavors vary with what is in season. Carabé features cremolata made with the pulp of fruits such as strawberry, blackberry, peach, and cantaloupe. (text from website)

Carabé is at Via Ricasoli, 60 (red), a few blocks from the Galleria dell’Accademia; Tel.: 055-289476.

Second Florence location: Carabé is also at Piazza S. Jacopino, 9 (red).Go to the website at http://www.gelatocarabe.com/coupon.html to get your free upgrade certificate. Just reading the instructions will give you the giggles.

FORZA VIOLA!! FOR AUGUST – Florentine Calcio
P&F Sports Reporters Simon Clark & Anne Brooks bring you a preview of upcoming Florentine Calcio.

Spectacular Viola! Our new kit sponsor is Spanish outfit Joma Sport, one of the world’s top sportswear brands. Joma helped launch our new shirts with high-tech razzamatazz in Signoria; breath-taking CGI projections transformed the Palazzo Vecchio’s façade - the David with a Viola scarf fluttering in an imaginary breeze! Football? We’re in that mad zone where casual “friendlies” deliver scores of 23-0 and tell us zip. “Serious” friendlies began at the end of July but they don’t promise much of a test either until we play Galatasaray in Istanbul on 8 August. Just as well, since Montella & Company are still assembling a squad. The 64 billion euro (inflation being what it is) question is “will Jovetic stay or go?” Football is about NOW. If Jo-Jo stays, we’ll love him to bits; if he goes, he’ll be forgotten by tomorrow!

Who’s in, who’s out? We’re training at Moena, the transfer window wide-open till the end of August, the fans protesting at too many goings, not enough comings! Exits - Free transfers - Montolivo to Milan (old news), Amauri to Parma (the curva liked him but he didn’t deliver); we rescinded Kharja’s contract (he didn’t fit in); Natali has been released. On loan - Babacar (to Padua: what is the problem with Babacar? Is it attitude?), Salifu (Catania) and De Silvestri (Sampdoria: he probably won’t come back). Sales - Gamberini and Behrami (10mn Euros the pair) to Napoli; fair enough on Gamberi’s age but Behrami is a loss – presumably, we needed the money. Incoming – Cassani is now entirely ours. Goalkeeper Lupatelli comes on a free transfer from Genoa to sit third behind Viviano (if his loan goes through: Della Valle says it will) and Neto (assuming Boruc has gone: no-one is talking). Defensive depth comes with Egyptian Hegazy and Argentine Roncaglia. Up front, in come El Hamdaoui (from Ajax) and the Columbian, Juan Cuadrado (Udinese).

It looks like Montella is backing Nastasic/Camporese as the heart of our defence - highlighting the Mr’s positive thinking. Montella isn’t worried about the midfield (though we are rumoured to be close to signing Chilean Matias Fernandez from Sporting Lisbon); he is looking to a solid defence and then wrapping his attack around Jovetic with Cerci and Vargas in attendance. He is reflecting on Ljajic, who may yet stay with us. Is it true that Montella has made Pasqual captain (a good choice), that this has irked Jovetic (if it has, then that’s a character defect) and that Jovetic has decided as a consequence that he’d be better off at Juventus (where he’ll not be skipper)? Um. Montella would have wanted assurances about Jo-Jo? Andrea Della Valle is still saying we shall not sell him. Trouble is, we are marooned where the media make it up if there isn’t any news! We shall see...........

2012 European Championship. Last month, we left Italy vanquishing England and gearing up to face Germany. The normally slick Teutonic machine malfunctioned as it tried to neutralise Pirlo – impossible task and utter misjudgement by the German coach – instead of playing to its own strengths. Mario Balotelli came good, heading in from Cassano’s delicate cross, and we gave them the run-around. A perfect long ball from Montolivo and “Super Mario” powered in the goal of the championship. Their late penalty was an ironic consolation prize. The boot was on the other foot in the final as Spain produced fabulous football from another, golden planet. We fought magic with effort but it was all over when, having used up all our substitutes, Chiellini had to come off; we were down to ten men. 4-0 looks grim in the archives but we were worthy runners-up. Prandelli can be optimistic about the World Cup!

Football’s Nearly Back. In Italy, the summer transfer window is designed to depress everyone who doesn’t support Inter, Milan, Roma or Juventus but we retain our good feeling about next season. We think Della Valle, Prade and Montella will make a good combo; we know a champion team will always beat a team of champions – and that is Montella’s challenge. No-one expected Prandelli to take us to the last stages of the Champion’s League and the brink of putting out the mighty Bayern Munich with the players we had; no-one dreamed he could take us to the semi-final of the Europa Cup. But he did. We start Serie A against Udinese. September brings Napoli, Juventus and Inter. Forza Vincenzo!


Serie A starts next month:

Week 1: 26 Aug/home Fiorentina-Udinese


Ticket information - seating plan, prices, and ticket outlets - is on the "biglietteria" section of the club's website [www.it.violachannel.tv ]. Tickets can be purchased at official box offices and holders of TicketOne lottery franchises. Sources include:

CHIOSCO DEGLI SPORTIVI, via degli Anselmi 1. Tel 055 292363.

BAR MARISA, viale Manfredo Fanti 41. Tel 055 572723.
BAR STADIO, viale Manfredo Fanti 3r. Tel 055 576169.
ACF OFFICIAL TICKET-OFFICE, via Duprè 28 (corner of via Settesanti).
NUOVO BOX OFFICE, Via delle Vecchie Carceri, 1, (inside the Murate). Tel 055 264321
FELTRINELLI FIRENZE, Via de' Cerretani 39/32R

BEST EXTRAVAGANZAS FOR AUGUST – The night of the shooting stars of San Lorenzo

On Tuesday 10, join the neighborhood of San Lorenzo in a celebration of their patron, St Lawrence. Traditionally, this is known as the Night of the Falling Stars – in reality an annual meteor shower. Since San Lorenzo was martyred on this day (by grilling) in 258, the stars are also seen as his tears.

During the morning, a parade marches through town from the Palagio di Parte Guelfa on Via Pellicceria, to the Basilica di San Lorenzo, starting around 10:30 am. At 7:00 pm, head to Piazza San Lorenzo for an outdoor celebration. There will be free lasagna, music and watermelon for all. The event begins some time after the market stalls that line the streets by day are rolled away. In addition, in honor of San Lorenzo a concert by the G. Rossini Philharmonic Orchestra is held each year in Piazza San Lorenzo at 9:00 pm.

For concert info: tel. 055603407 and http://www.filarmonicarossini.it.

For festival info: tel. 055 0516181 and www.comune.fi.it

To best view the falling meteorites (when the Earth intersects the orbit of an old comet whose fragments penetrate the atmosphere), you should go somewhere outside of the city and away from “light pollution”. This year the best viewing days will be August 12 and 13. So if you’re staying in one of P&F’s rental apartments or villas in the countryside, you’re in luck!


LIBERATION OF FLORENCE – Concert in Piazza della Signoria

On August 11, there is another parade and concert. On this date in 1944, with the help of the Allied troops, Florence rebelled against the occupying Germans and the city was restored to the Florentines. To celebrate, a parade takes place each year at 9:00 am, beginning in Piazza dell'Unità near the central station and ending in Piazza della Signoria.

This year we also celebrate the 68th Anniversary of Florence’s Liberation with a free concert by the G. Rossini Philharmonic Orchestra at 9:00 pm. in Piazza della Signoria.

THE NEW FRONTIER: History And Culture Of The Native Americans From The Collections Of The Gilcrease Museum

Palazzo Pitti, Andito degli Angiolini and Galleria del Costume until December 8th.

The year 2012 will mark the fifth centennial of the death of Amerigo Vespucci, one of the discoverers of the American continents and, especially, the one who gave his name to the new lands. To commemorate the great navigator who was born in Florence in 1454, the Pitti Palace hosts an exhibition dedicated to the native inhabitants of North America and, in particular, of the lands that European colonists penetrated in their advance westward from the XVII century through the XIX century.

For the realization of this ambitious project, the Pitti called on the Gilcrease Museum of Tulsa, Oklahoma, one of the most important museums for its wealth of historical tokens of the North-American continent and for the largest collection of artistic and handicraft works of the American West.

Founded in 1949 by oilman Thomas Gilcrease of the Muskogee-Creek Nation, the Museum is known for the exceptional vastness of its collections, most of which were collected by its founder, animated by a profound interest in the history of his forefathers and of the native populations. Property of the city of Tulsa, which jointly administers it with the University of the city, the Gilcrease Museum represents a fundamental point of reference for studies on the Native Americans.

The Florence show will present a selection of the most precious and significant pieces from the American museum, and will open in the Andito degli Angiolini with a historical section that introduces the various phases in the discovery of America and its colonization; a map will show the locations of the settlements of the major tribes before and after the exodus from their lands. This section will also touch on aspects of the tribes’ social organization before colonization, and the subsequent contamination of Indian culture by Western culture; particular attention is devoted to the iconographic tokens of the early XX century by great American photographer and ethnologist, Edward Curtis who dedicated himself to documenting the civilization of the Native Americans who were by then risking extinction.

The exhibition finds one of its most suggestive locations in the Galleria del Costume’s Sala della Meridiana with its eighteenth-century frescoed ceiling by Medici court painter Anton Domenico Gabbiani, which celebrates Amerigo Vespucci alongside Galileo Galilei, with allusions to the discovery of the New World and its inhabitants. This location will host the show’s most important section which has an anthropological perspective, and exhibit artifacts by the various indigenous Nations, both commonly-used and ceremonial objects: the well-known plumed headdresses, pottery, weapons, jewelry of the most varied forms, typologies and materials, such as necklaces made of animal tusks and claws, splendid clothing made from animal hides and with lively decorations consisting, for the most part, of brightly colored glass beads, and other articles of both male and female clothing. This section has paintings, sculpture and photography from the XIX century to the early XX century, executed by artists who entered into close contact with the Native Americans, and depicted their everyday life. Among these artists are Joseph Henry Sharp who authored the exhibition’s masterpiece that be displayed in the Gallery’s ballroom: Crucita, a Girl from Taos. Beside the painting, are the clothing and objects utilized for the paintings.

Palazzo Pitti


In June, the Florentine actor Roberto Benigni received the honorary citizenship of the city of Florence. Benigni returned to read and discuss the poems of Dante. Benigni is an improvisatory poet, also known for his explanation and recitations of Dante’s Divina Commedia by memory. During 2006 and 2007, Benigni toured Italy with his 90-minute one man show TuttoDante (“Everything About Dante”). Combining current events and memories of his past narrated with an ironic tone, Benigni then began a journey of poetry and passion through the world of the Divine Comedy. TuttoDante has been performed in numerous Italian piazzas, arenas, and stadiums for a total of 130 shows, with an estimated audience of about one million spectators. Over 10 million more spectators watched the TV show, Il V° canto dell’Inferno.

Until 6 August 2012, Benigni will interpret the verses of Dante (Inferno, Cantos 11 to 22) in the unique setting of Piazza Santa Croce, which is dominated by the marble statue dedicated to the great poet. For those who don’t want to miss the uniqueness of this event tickets are available on-line. For information and tickets: http://www.tuttodante.it/


Florence’s tourism office has put together an interesting collection of rooftop view suggestions. A number of the city’s hotels and restaurants are opening their doors to clients as well as passersby. All of August and September you are invited to explore Florence from above, from terraces that you may otherwise have missed. Most of the venues have a bar or restaurant for an aperitif, for a dinner enjoyed watching the sunset, or for after-dinner drinks under a star-filled sky. In some cases, you can also visit the terrace just to admire the view and take a few pictures. Choose your terrace from the list below and enjoy the beauty of Florence from above. Please note that in some cases you may need to book your visit beforehand. (Check to see if private parties haven’t reserved the space, before you go.)

ANTICA TORRE DI VIA TORNABUONI 1. Their beautiful roof-top terrace is surrounded by medieval crenellations. The terrace can be visited; and you are welcome to take pictures. No bar service.

Open 7-10:30pm. Via Tornabuoni 1, Tel. 055 2658161.

www.tornabuoni1.com. Reservations: mrbellini@tornabuoni1.com

GRAND HOTEL BAGLIONI. A visit to the roof-top, multi-level terrace can be reserved, even if you only want to take pictures or have a panoramic view. Otherwise, take advantage of the classic bar service for an aperitif, dinner, or after-dinner drinks. Open 7pm-12am. Piazza dell’Unità Italiana 6. Tel. 055 23580. info@hotelbaglioni.it. www.hotelbaglioni.it. Reservations: 055 23588560.

CONTINENTALE HOTEL. Roof-top bar open 6pm-12am for an aperitif or after-dinner drinks. Great view over the Ponte Vecchio and Arno River. Vicolo dell’Oro, 6r, Tel. 055 27262

continentale@lungarnohotels.com, http://www.lungarnohotels.com/en/firenze-continentale/hotels-38

GRAND HOTEL CAVOUR. Roof-top bar open 6-10 pm for an aperitif or after-dinner drinks. Via del Proconsolo 3. Tel. 055 266271. info@albergocavour.it. www.albergocavour.it. Reservations (required): 055 215521.

GRAND HOTEL MINERVA. A pool adds sparkle to this roof-top bar open for snacks or aperitifs from 11am-12pm. Piazza Santa Maria Novella 16. Tel. 055-27230.

info@grandhotelminerva.com. www.grandhotelminerva.com

HOTEL BOSCOLO ASTORIA. Have a drink at the bar. Open 7-12 pm. Via del Giglio 9. Tel. 055 2398095. reception@astoria.boscolo.com, www.boscolohotels.com

HOTEL KRAFT The roof-top area is open 7-12 pm. Join them for a snack, aperitif, dinner, or for after-dinner drinks. Via Solferino 2. Tel. 055 284273. info@krafthotel.it. www.krafthotel.it.

HOTEL LAURUS AL DUOMO. Open from 4-11pm, enjoy a snack, aperitif or after-dinner drinks at the bar. Reservations required. Via Cerretani 54r. Tel. 055 2381752.

reservations@florencehotellaurusalduomo.com. www.florencehotellaurusalduomo.com.

HOTEL SILLA. The Silla is open for a lovely aperitivo from 6-10 pm. Via de’ Renai 5. Tel. 0552342888. hotelsilla@hotelsilla.it and www.hotelsilla.it.

HOTEL TORNABUONI BEACCI. Charming and quaint, the Tornabuoni Beacci terrace is open 7-12 pm for a snack, aperitif, dinner or after-dinner drinks. The restaurant is closed on Mondays. Via Tornabuoni 3, Tel. 055 212645. info@tornabuonihotels.com, www.tornabuonihotels.com.

J.K. PLACE FIRENZE. Chic and trendy. The cozy roof-top bar is open 11 am- 11pm. Piazza Santa Maria Novella 7. Tel. 055 2645181. info@jkplace.com. www.jkplace.com.

PITTI PALACE AL PONTE VECCHIO. Look down on the Ponte Vecchio from this viewpoint bar. Open from 6-10.30 pm, you can order a snack, aperitif, dinner or after-dinner drinks. Reservations required. Borgo San Jacopo 3. Tel. 055 2398711, www.florencehotelpittipalacealpontevecchio.com

RELAIS CHATEAUX VILLA LA VEDETTA. A bit removed from the chaos of the city center, enjoy the park-like atmosphere at the Vedetta. Open all day for a snack, aperitif, dinner, after-dinner drinks and a swimming pool. Reservations required. Viale Michelangiolo 78. Tel. 055 681631.

info@villalavedettahotel.com. www.villalavedettahotel.com.

RISTORANTE TERRAZZA BARDINI. Breezy and beautiful, this terrace is open for an aperitif or dinner from 7-12 pm; closed on Mondays. Via Costa San Giorgio 6. Tel. 055 2008444. info@moba.fi.it. www.moba.fi.it


The Odeon movie theater will be closed from August 1 to 20. From August 20 to 28, the Odeon is going to reprise nine of the movies that won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival over the years. See http://www.odeon.intoscana.it/prossimamente_view.php?id=334 for detals.


In August it is best to find your musical experience outside of Florence.


Go to Siena for your classical music in August. The Accademia Musicale Chigiana has a series of concerts in various historic venues (Teatro dei Rinnovati, Abazia di Sant'Antimo (Montalcino), Chiesa di Sant'Agostino, Teatro dei Rozzi, etc.). This year is the 81st Edition of the summer series.

The Accademia Musicale Chigiana was founded by Count Guido Chigi Saracini in 1932 with the aim of organizing Master Classes for the principal musical instruments. Its founder, besides funding the academy and providing the magnificent palace, which he had restored and readapted for the purpose, was successful in bringing to Siena a large number of world famous musicians as instructors of the various classes.

Hear music by Beethoven, Villa-Lobos, Rachmaninov, Brahms,Rossini, Mendelssohn, and much more.

See the web page for the schedule and ticket prices:


See the Home Page for general information: http://www.chigiana.it

LINARI CLASSICAL MUSIC FESTIVAL – Tenth Edition Celebration This Year

The Linari tenth annual classical concert season has begun. The Festival is based in the tiny, medieval village of Linari, situated between Florence and Siena. Linari is hilltop “borgo” in the Chianti Classico area, one of the most enchanting parts of Tuscany.

This music festival presents a rich program of classical music, ranging from the Baroque Era to the Twentieth century executed by young and talented musicians from Australia, Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United States, many of whom perform in some of the world's great orchestras. The first festival was held in the summer of 2003 at the initiative of Airdrie Armstrong Terenghi, organizer and artistic director working with Joris van Rijn, music director.

There are around ten concerts each summer, set in locations ranging from medieval castles and churches to town piazzas and private villas, the unique venues provide an extra dimension to a musical experience. Another special feature of the festival is the opportunity to join your friends and the performers over a meal at the end of most of the concerts.

Tickets for concerts: Members - €12, non-Members - €15. Dinners: €30. For updated information on the program, please check: www.linariclassic.com.

Bookings: Tel. 055 8068022 and http://www.linariclassic.com/booknow.php?lang=en .

Not to worry! … here are a bunch of events or exhibits that will still be happening in late August and September:


Until November 4th at the Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence

The title Arte torna Arte [Art Returns to Art] is the same as the one Luciano Fabro - one of the best-known artists on the Italian scene who died in 2007 - chose for a collection of his writings and of lectures and talks given between 1981 and 1997 at universities, academies and museums in various parts of the world. Adopting this expression as the title of the exhibition is a mark of agreement with his idea of art as a continuum that renews and regenerates itself, drawing strength from itself and from its own history. 

Arte torna Arte presents examples of artists who in their works have looked to history, to the masterpieces of the past, making use of their iconography, reworking their ideas and assuming a responsibility that has not yet been exhausted and a sense of belonging that has no bounds, but that finds expression in languages rich in interpretative possibilities.

The location of the exhibition is doubly emblematic. The Galleria is the home of Michelangelo’s David and his Prisoners, as well as important collections that include masterpieces of various periods, and in particular of 14th-century Florentine painting: thus it is an ideal setting for a concrete dialogue between the works of the past and those of artists of our own day, offering the public the experience of a continual counterpoint. The gallery is also an exhibition place linked to the history of the Florentine Accademia di Belle Arti, the first institution set up in Italy to mark a continuity between past and present, where the collection of plaster casts and works, before and after the creation of the city’s museums, has provided models of Renaissance thinking and supplied lifeblood to artists from all over the world, who have come to Florence and the academy to study.

ACCADEMIA AT NIGHT – Free on Thursdays

The Galleria dell'Accademia will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays until 10pm through September.

On Tuesdays you pay the regular entrance fee but there are free guided tours starting at 7:00pm and 8:30pm. On Thursdays, entrance is free from 7pm to 10pm!

THE GLEAM OF GOLD – The International Gothic Style In Florence

Galleria degli Uffizi until 4 November 2012

This year, the rooms on the main floor of the Galleria degli Uffizi host an important exhibition that intends to reconstruct the panorama of Florentine art in the wonderful and crucial period that extended roughly from 1375 to 1440.

This show presents paintings that have been famous for centuries, alongside other exquisite paintings little known to the general public, along with sculpture in wood and marble, illuminated codices, works of sacred and profane art: all of them creations of superlative value and undisputed historical importance which come from prestigious public museum institutions, as well as from Italian and foreign private collections.

The exhibition itinerary follows a chronological order and begins with works by the greatest interpreters of the final phase of the fourteenth-century tradition. The artists include Agnolo Gaddi, Spinello Aretino, Antonio Veneziano, Gherardo Starnina and Lorenzo Monaco. Following the death of Starnina, Monaco was left the greatest Florentine painter to propose his own very personal version of the late gothic style. One that was extraneous even to the refined naturalism of Gentile da Fabriano, whose work in those years was steeped in lyricism, and who also features in the exhibition with paintings that are famous for their moving beauty.

Included are works by artists active in Florence between the XIV and XV centuries. These works represent the highest level of painters worthy of a greater familiarity: Lippo d’Andrea, Mariotto di Cristofano, Giovanni Toscani, Ventura di Moro, Francesco d’Antonio and Arcangelo di Cola.

Lorenzo Ghiberti, one of the most illustrious personalities of the Florentine late gothic style, is also on display. His work on the first gate of the Baptistery, during the early phase of his activity, was a tool for study for all of the leading artists in Florence.

Beato Angelico and Michelozzo are emblematic of a line of expression that created the artistic language of the recent past with the novel ideas that were taking shape in the city with Brunelleschi and Masaccio. Their art had the support of several great humanists who gathered around the figure of Cosimo de’ Medici, the Elder.

Finally, the exhibition closes in splendor with one of the most illustrious works of the early XV century – the Battle of San Romano by Paolo Uccello, a work of art that synthesizes the dreams of an unrepeatable epoch.

APERITIVO AD ARTE – Cocktails At The Bargello

For the months of August, September and October, the Bargello Museum will be offering the chance for cocktails within an extaordinary setting. Starting on the 1st of August and continuing every Tuesday throughout October 9, the Aperitivo ad Arte invites you to enjoy an evening out at the museum where you can both savor your drinks while getting the chance to visit the museum’s room dedicated to Michelangelo and to other Renaissance artists and the current exhibition, Fabulae Pictae Miti e storie nelle maioliche del Rinascimento, when the museum is closed to normal visitors. Tickets cost 12 euro.

You can reserve a spot (recommended) by calling the following number: 055.294883

Web Site: http://www.firenzeturismo.it/en/news-and-reviews/aperitivo-al-museo.html


SIENA – Palio

On August 16th, the Palio of Siena takes place. Ten bareback jockeys on specially bred horses circle the main piazza three times after a day of pageantry. While the actual prize may be the Palio, a silk painted banner, there's much more at stake. The competition between neighborhoods has roots going back centuries, and established rivalries add further dimension to the race. The historical procession preceding the race is unlike any parade ever experienced.

The race itself lasts less than 2 minutes, but that explosion of activity marks the culmination of a four-day crescendo of fascinating events, starting with the selection of the horses and concluding with the breathless gallop of the race. On a deeper level, for the Sienese people, the Palio is part of their lives 24/7, 365 days a year. They are either strategizing, preparing, or participating when they’re not celebrating victory or gnashing their teeth in defeat.


On August 10, Italians celebrate San Lorenzo by turning their eyes to the evening sky to watch for shooting stars. In Tuscany and beyond, this day is made even more special with Calici di Stelle, an event that will enliven wineries and piazzas with art, music, folklore and wine. Expert enologists and producers will guide tastings. The 15th edition of “Calici di Stelle” is sure to be a stellar series of events celebrated all on one night. Festivities begin at sunset. The following towns are among the many celebrating the shooting stars:


Piazza Matteotti

info: 055 8545271 - 055 8546299



Piazza Machiavelli

info: 0571 600230 - 0571 657579



Piazza Matteotti

info: 055 8077832



Piazza del Castello

info: 0571 568012



Piazza del Mercato

info: 055 84966229


CLASSICAL MUSIC AROUND TUSCANY – Maestri Chigiani In Terra Di Siena

The Accademia Musicale Chigiana of Siena (see above under MUSIC) has a series of concerts in various historic venues around Tuscany called Maestri Chigiani In Terra Di Siena. This year they celebrate the 5th Edition of the series with an evocative program.

August 12

CHIOSTRO DI TORRI (Rosia - Sovicille) at 9:15 p.m.

August 12

SAN GIMIGNANO (Cathedral) at 9:15 p.m.

Salvatore Accardo violin

Franco Petracchi double-bass

Students of the Accademia Musicale Chigiana

Spohr Double Quartet no. 1 in D min. op. 65 for strings

Rossini Sonata a quattro no. 2 in A maj. for two violins, violoncello and double-bass

Mendelssohn Octet in E-flat maj. op. 20 for strings

August 22

POGGIBONSI (Basilica di San Lucchese) at 9:15 p.m.

August 23

SCANSANO (Teatro Castagnoli) at 9:15 p.m.

Bruno Giuranna viola

Students of the Accademia Musicale Chigiana

Brahms Quintet no. 1 in F maj. op. 88 for strings; Quintet no. 2 in G maj. op. 111 for strings



Most visitors and expats in Italy have broken the Italian Food Rule: Don’t Dip Bread in Olive Oil. Or, to clarify: Don’t serve bread with a bowl of olive oil with a swirl of balsamic vinegar as an appetizer (or any other part of the meal).

In Italy, there is no practice of setting bowls of olive oil on the table so customers can munch on bread before the antipasti arrives. Tourists, however, expect to be served olive oil, bread and even that squiggle of balsamic vinegar in the trattorias and fine restaurants across Italy. When this started (mid 1990s or so) Italian waiters (and restaurant owners) were confused – why all of this demand for olive oil when there was no food on which to put it? Today, they either refuse the request or comply with resignation.

There are a few good reasons for the Italian Food Rule: Don’t Dip Bread in Olive Oil. Fine Italian extra virgin olive oil – the only type to eat with bread – is expensive. To place a bowl of olive oil on the table in front of Italians guarantees the waste of excess oil because Italians don’t eat bread before they start their meal. (Some might argue that tourists will wipe the bowl clean, but remember Italian Food Rules were not created with tourists in mind.) Also, Italians aren’t given to eating out of a communal bowl (dipping a hunk of bread in olive oil, taking a bite and then dipping it back in the same oil would cause an Italian to go pale with visions of bacteria, viruses, etc.). There is also the possibility of drips – Italians avoid potential messes. This list probably just skims the surface of reasons behind the Rule.

As for that S of aceto balsamico floating on the oil… There is probably an extra penalty for adding that to the original crime. Italians do not put balsamic vinegar on bread. Italians do not make a salad dressing with balsamic vinegar and olive oil (red wine vinegar only). Traditional aceto balsamico is wildly expensive, exquisitely good and should never be wasted or drowned in olive oil.

But if oil and bread together is so good, why don’t the Italians give in? Well, Italians do eat bread with extra virgin olive oil on top. The dish is called fettunta from fetta (slice) and unta (oily) – an “oily slice”. The bread is not dipped in oil. A slice of bread is toasted (preferably over a flame), rubbed while still warm with a halved clove of fresh garlic and placed on a plate. Fresh extra virgin olive oil is poured over the slice of bread and salt is added to taste. It is difficult to find this dish in a restaurant because it is considered simple home food, not worthy of a dining experience and difficult to price since it is basically a slice of bread with a splash of olive oil.

When in Italy, save the dipping of bread in olive oil for a formal tasting of the year’s new oil in December and January when the purpose is not to eat a lot of bread, but just to taste a variety of fabulous just pressed extra virgin olive oils. Keep the practice out of your restaurant experience while touring Italy and perhaps, give it up at home to avoid violating the Italian Food Rule: Don’t Dip Bread in Olive Oil.

To read more, go to TuscanTraveler.com:



Invitation to Newsletter Readers & Friends:

The Pitcher & Flaccomio Newsletter would like to invite readers and friends of readers to submit announcements of upcoming events that may be of interest to visitors and residents of Florence and Tuscany, provide shopping tips, and/or comments on what’s “right” or “wrong” in Florence (or the Newsletter). We can’t promise to put every announcement in the newsletter, but we appreciate your support, interest and messages.

Please send an email to info@pitcherflaccomio.com or newsletter@pitcherflaccomio.com .


This August we recommend that you reacquaint yourself with the magic of Pinocchio, both in Florence and in Tuscany. A return to childhood can only be a restorative experience.

All the best,

Pitcher and Flaccomio